By Tunde Osho (with agency reports)
GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s new chief executive officer, Emma Walmsley, has revamped the top ranks of the United Kingdom’s largest drugmaker, replacing about 50 of the top 125 managers since taking over last year.
In changing 40 percent of Glaxo’s top executives, Walmsley has hired people from the outside while promoting others from within, the London-based company said Monday by email. She’s seeking to bring new ideas and skills, and to increase diversity to the team, according to the company.
The moves show that Walmsley, who took the helm in April, has been making deep changes in the layers of management, well beyond the recent appointments of Luke Miels as head of the pharmaceuticals unit, Hal Barron as research and development president and Karenann Terrell as the top technology officer. She’s lured executives from a range of companies including Novartis AG, Google and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Walmsley has said that Glaxo had spread itself too broadly and that there are areas that need to be bolstered to drive the next phase of growth beyond 2020. In July, she outlined plans to focus on treatments in respiratory conditions, HIV and infectious diseases and immuno-inflammatory disorders, while terminating or divesting more than 30 drug-development programmes.
Among some of the changes, Tobias Hestler, a former Novartis executive, is now CFO of Glaxo’s consumer business, while Christine Roth, also formerly at Novartis, is head of the oncology franchise. Tamara Rogers, from Unilever, has joined the consumer division for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Glaxo said.
Glaxo shares rose 0.3 percent to 1,358 pence at 8:27 a.m. in London trading. The stock has dropped about 18 percent since Walmsley took over on March 31.